A prospect-heavy Hurricanes group started strong against a veteran-heavy Lightning group in game two of the 2021 preseason slate Friday night, but faded late in an 8-5 road loss. Still, there was plenty to like from Carolina’s young group.
Rod Brind’Amour, C.J. Smith (who scored two goals) and Brendan Smith spoke to the media after the game, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On what he saw from Seth Jarvis in his first preseason game: I liked what I saw, really from everybody, to be honest with you. You take the score out of it, it was not a bad game. It seemed like everything went in. I thought he really showed some offensive flair, and he’s not a big guy, but he was taking a bunch to the net. That was great to see. On the flipside, there’s a learning curve on defense. He kind of got caught puck watching, which it seems like every junior kid that comes to the league their first year, that’s what they do. So he’s got some work there for sure to play away from the puck, but he’s looking like he’s got a lot of potential.
On if Antti Raanta can just put this game behind him: I would hope so. What are you going to say? I’m sure he’d like to have a couple of those back. They were good shots, it was weird. Every one seemed like it was off the post, so we just can’t give up those chances. A lot of them were right there but not quite there. You just can’t do that in this league. All in all, I was actually pleasantly surprised with how the game was going, it’s just the outcome didn’t work out.
On the strong start to the game: We worked hard. We’ve got a lot of young players with their first time playing in the league, you know you’re going to come out and they’re going to give it everything they have, and they had a more veteran group that probably wasn’t as interested early on. Things changed as the stakes got a little higher, but it was a good effort from our group.
On what the team can get out of a game like that: A lot of learning clips. You just realize how small mistakes can end up in the back of your net. It’s a game of inches and I think the third period showed where, if you stop behind your man just the slightest bit, they get a goal and it changes the momentum of the game.
On the team’s strong start: With Roddy’s system, chipping pucks in and working hard and reloading and putting a lot of pressure everywhere on them. Making them have to make plays. I think we created a lot of turnovers early in the game and a lot of scoring chances.
On if the team’s lack of experience together was the reason for things falling apart: I don’t think anyone gave up or wasn’t working hard. It’s early on and we have a lot of young guys playing and a lot of new guys who haven’t played with each other. Really, getting simple and realizing you have to play 60 minutes. You can’t just play 20, 40 minutes.
On if it was nice to get back out there in a live game: Yeah, I thought we did a lot of good things. Obviously, when they put up that many goals, it’s frustrating, but what Rod demands and what you need to have to play in the NHL is work ethic. We worked hard. There are a lot of things that we need to maybe look at and go to the drawing board and figure it out because that’s what we meant. Be quick, on your man, and when we did that we were effective. We took pucks in and made life miserable on them. I think there are areas, for me, I think are learning. When you have a younger squad like that, there are some areas where guys will learn and get better. You never want to see that many goals against, but that’s why it’s preseason.
On if Tampa’s experience played a factor as the game went on: I think that the guys who are pros and have been doing it for a long time know how to play the game. They’ve been doing it for a longer time. When there’s a chance to chip the puck in, they make the right reads. You just learn, that’s game management. There are areas where when you’ve been around for a long time, 200, 300, 400 games, you know what to expect. I think they just know the game a little better and where to take chances and where not to, so that’s an area. For me, I was pleased with how hard the guys worked. A lot of work ethic and leadership from the guys there, and that’s what we want. We can live with the mistake because you’re learning and getting better from it. That’s what preseason is for, to learn from that, be tighter on your man. That’s what Roddy preaches.
On playing with Ethan Bear: It was fun. He obviously has a lot of talent. We haven’t had a lot of time playing with each other, but it was exciting for me. He can move fast, he’s got good skill, he can move the puck very well, and he likes to defend hard. I enjoyed our combo. I thought we paired well. We went up against the big boys a lot and I liked our partnership.